The Christian gospel is simple. The idea is that everyone has sinned at least once, and because we’ve sinned we all deserve to go to Hell for eternity (a bit harsh, but that’s the story). The only way God can save us from Hell is to become a human and sacrifice himself to himself in order to satisfy his need for a blood sacrifice. (It’s a bit like saying that the only way you can forgive someone is if you punch yourself in the face first, but I digress.)
For the sake of argument, I’ll grant the idea that if God exists, he requires a blood sacrifice before he can forgive us. I don’t understand why the creator of the universe would be bound to this strange rule, but whatever. Let’s just assume that God can only forgive people after there’s been a blood sacrifice.
Here’s my question: Why can’t he apply that blood sacrifice to whomever he wants? In other words, why is belief necessary for salvation? If the blood of Jesus is what saves people, why can’t God use it to save anyone, including unbelievers? Is there another strange rule God has to follow–one that says he can only forgive people who believe he exists? If so, where did this rule come from? And again, why is the creator of the universe bound to it?
I asked a Christian this question, and he laughed and said, “So you’re suggesting God should let unbelievers into Heaven?” To which I replied, “Sure, why not?” This would make a lot more sense, and here’s why.
As it is, rapists, serial killers and even brutal dictators can still get into Heaven as long as they feel sorry and ask Jesus for forgiveness before they die. If Christians are right, it’s possible that Ted Bundy–one of the most notorious serial killers of the 20th century–is in Heaven right now, experiencing unimaginable bliss.
Meanwhile, counselors, volunteers and even the most generous philanthropists in the world are going to Hell for not taking one particular religion on faith. According to the Christian Bible, Mahatma Gandhi–the civil rights leader who fed the hungry and helped stop genocide–is in Hell right now, experiencing unimaginable pain.
Wouldn’t it make more sense for God to apply the blood of Jesus to Gandhi as well, even if he did believe the wrong religion? If God is loving and merciful, there is no way he would send countless good people to Hell. Only an evil god would do that.
Some Christian apologists claim that God is literally incapable of saving people who don’t believe in Him. But that brings me back to my previous question: Why is the creator of the universe bound to this strange rule? I thought God could do whatever he wanted.
It comes down to this: Either God is evil, or he is not all-powerful. Take your pick.